Dr Riyaz Kaba is Consultant Cardiologist, St George's Hospital, London, UK.
Published: 03 July 2020
This virtual symposium combines presentations from leading practitioners, discussions, and procedural videos to look at the latest data, patient selection, fundamentals of the procedure and the set-up of a convergent AF programme.
The cornerstone of atrial fibrillation (AF) is electrical isolation of the pulmonary veins (PV). In patients with non-paroxysmal AF, PV isolation alone is insufficient and one needs to modify the atrial arrhythmogenic substrate. AF ablation is now a common procedure and mostly performed using a transvenous, endocardial approach with catheters. For patients with persistent AF however, this procedure is not sufficient.
There is a growing movement towards a convergent procedure management strategy, used alongside standard catheterisation techniques to optimise patient outcomes. More and more research suggests that an integrated approach involving multidisciplinary teams (of electrophysiologists and surgeons) may lead to improved success rates and increased patient satisfaction.
Convergent procedure is a promising therapy for patients’ refractory to standard AF treatment, however the approach involves some challenges that require specific attention from the medical specialities involved. Whilst a relatively new way of working for both EPs and surgeons, the benefits and best ways of implementing this in clinical practice are still largely unknown.